Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Flowers, fireworks and 4th of July

It's that time of year when colors abound!  Brilliant flowers are popping everywhere along with the fireworks.

Here's my annual expose' on summer flowers(most of them in my own back yard)...

We love our "Life is Good" t-shirts!
For the first time in many years, Mike and I stayed in town for the 4th of July.  It was a crummy, rainy weekend, but we still had fun. We headed to  Nashville, Indiana for some shopping and lunch at a favorite pizza place.

Next we headed to the outlet mall with thousands of other like-minded people who were looking for an activity they could do in the rain.

Hey, shopping is an American tradition, isn't it!?

Normally we watch our town's fireworks from our front yard, but this year Mike wanted to go to our town park and enjoy the fireworks firsthand.  We gathered up lawn chairs and hiked to the park where we enjoyed "fair food" and a ride on the Ferris wheel.
Enjoying the Ferris wheel with Mike!
View of the midway from the Ferris wheel

As darkness settled in, we set up our lawn chairs in the park and enjoyed the show.  The fireworks were right overhead and absolutely stunning.  Ok, and a bit scary as debris rained down on my head.

Mike, Diane, Elena and Atanas
We enjoyed a lovely evening with friends Elena and Atanas at our local Irish Pub.  Nothing like sitting outside on a cool summer evening and catching up on life.

Mike, Melanie, Diane and Chuck

Last Saturday we spent the afternoon visiting with Chuck and Melanie in Broad ripple.  A couple of pitchers of margaritas was a perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday.

And of course it is an unwritten law that you must enjoy ice cream in the summer! One of our favorite places is the "Frost Bite"!  Last week Mike introduced me to the "Big Berry"in a small town near here.  Gotta love these names!

And as you might expect, we always find weird sights in everyday life...

We drove by the "Eat Mor Chicken" cow today.  One minute he was standing by the side of the road...

And then he was being led away...

Did he violate some company policy?  In trouble with the law?  Or merely couldn't see in his costume?

Like everyone, I've been very troubled by the violence and unrest this past week.  If only we could do what is inscribed over this church doorway...

Take care, and to quote Ellen: "Be kind to one another".

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Is age 60 always this busy?

Climbing the stop sign.  Seems appropriate.  (Real Simple Magazine)
Over the past couple of months, I haven't had time to write this blog. I know that sounds crazy, but since turning 60 in April, life has been crazy fast, like its' on steroids.  In fact I thought about discontinuing the blog, but here I am again writing about this busy retirement life.

If I ever thought retirement would be relaxing, I was dead wrong.  Most of the time I am wishing for a few days to relax.  Here's a quick look back at May and June...

Speedway, Indiana-home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
We love auto racing, and Indianapolis is the place to be in the month of May.  This year we attended the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and the Indy 500.  This year was the 100th running of the Indy 500, and over 300,000 people attended the race! Our friends Gretchen and Craig joined us for race weekend, and we celebrated in style.
Tailgating with Gretchen and Craig
Enjoying Bloody Mary's before the race

June was concert month in Indy.  Over the past 2 weeks, we attended 2 concerts at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville(north of Indy).  We joined Brian and Stacy for Bad Company and Joe Walsh concerts.  We did a little tailgating before the concert, and then we headed in for some amazing music.
Concert time with Brian and Stacy

Bad Company Stage

The next concert was Huey Lewis and the News and Jimmy Buffett.  You know, I've heard a lot of people talk about a Jimmy Buffett concert, but until I attended one in person, I really didn't get it.  Talk about a party scene.  People started arriving to the tailgate party about 12:30 PM though the concert didn't start until 7:00 PM.  We went with our friends Kevin and Kathy, and we set up a tent, the grill and lots of decorations.  It was a blast wandering around the parking lot visiting with people and enjoying a few libations along the way.

And the concerts were great.  The entire crowd stood for both concerts and sang along to both Huey Lewis and Jimmy Buffet songs.  I never saw so many beach balls in my life.  It was a wonderful evening, and though I'm not quite sure if I'll ever see myself as a "parrothead", I likely will jump at a chance to go to another Buffet concert.  This concert was billed as the "I don't know" concert, and the song lyric keeps floating through my head... "I don't know.  I don't know.  I don't know where I'm a gonna go when the volcano blows."
Tailgating with Kevin and Kathy

Party Atmosphere

Drinking games

Mom, Mike, Judy, Diane, Violet, Alice and Ron
We enjoyed a couple of visits to see mom and family during June.  We did some landscaping work trimming bushes and replacing a dead bush.  We enjoyed seeing Judy and Ron and Diane and the kids on one of these visits.

I enjoyed babysitting for my great-niece Violet for a couple of hours while her mom and sister went to the dentist.  We ran around the house a few times, dot painted and chalk painted.  We read books and shot water guns.  I never laughed so hard, and I have to admit I was totally exhausted after a mere two hours.

Mike and I enjoyed a wonderful day at the Talbot Street Art Festival where we found a beautiful copper wind spinner...

We enjoyed a wonderful visit with friends Garth and Chris at the Italian Festival.  Interesting processional by children of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
Italian Fest with Chris and Garth

School children in processional

Elena and her friend Miley stopped over for a visit.  Miley was visiting from Bulgaria, and I had a great time learning about her life.  We were able to communicate primarily in English with a little help from Elena's translations.  We laughed like crazy proving once again that laughter is a universal language.
Elena and Miley
 Mike and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary at a wonderful new restaurant called Union 50.

Anniversary dinner

Union 50

We've been enjoying this very hot June by cooling off several times in our friends' pool.  Kevin and Kathy have this amazingly large pool, and there is nothing better on a very hot day...

And I took some time to make a denim tablecloth for our friend Stan.
Blue Belle testing the denim patches

So finally it's the last week of June, and we have a few days without plans.  Unbelievable!  Even Mike (the energizer bunny) is exhausted from 2 crazy busy months. We've enjoyed lots of great times with friends and family and house guests, but now it's time to breathe and unwind and simply do nothing.  I doubt if this nirvana lasts long, but for now, I'll enjoy it!

Take care and enjoy your week!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

If you have to turn 60...get free stuff!

Ok, I haven't been thrilled about turning 60.

When I was in my 50's, I would say I "retired early", and everyone would comment that I looked so young.

So what happens when you say you are 60? Friends try to make you feel better by commiserating that they are in their 50's... Well, that doesn't really work!

So what did I do?  Act like an old person and get all the free stuff possible on my birthday...

Here's a list of my birthday"haul":

A free chocolate brownie dessert at Charbonos Restaurant

A free flan dessert at Delicia restaurant
Enjoying a fantastic birthday dinner at Delicia Restaurant

$10 "cash" at Kohl's (new towels)

$5 "cash" at Sullivan's Hardware(good until 5/31)

A free cookie at McAlister's

$15 bag of free bird seed at Wild Birds Unlimited

$5 off a purchase at Soma (ok, I am not showing a picture of panties)

And best of all...a coupon at Frazee Gardeens for 60 percent off one item (percent equal to your age.  Do you believe that?). And I bought the BIGGEST geranium I could find.  

And yes, I realize that I sound like an OLD PERSON.  

And if you are going to turn 60, you are compelled to party.  So Mike and I had a small party to celebrate our 6oth birthdays.  Great friends, good food, a few cocktails and beautiful weather added up to a perfect party...

Thanks Chris for this wonderful Strawberry Champagne Cheesecake!

Bryan, Chris, Jane and Garth 

John, Atanas, Mike and Elena 

And no, I don't really expect to ride off into the sunset quite yet.  Maybe I should be acting my age, whatever that means.  But really I plan to keep living day to day enjoying the people and beauty all around me! 

Hope you are having a great week!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

60 is just a number

Celebrating with Guinness
It's approaching fast.  Age 60 is closing in on me. And it sounds SO OLD!

Fortunately Mike is about 5 weeks older than me, and he is my inspiration on staying young after 60!

Mom giving Mike a noogie?  It's a long story!

Antique shopping with Mike is always crazy!

As is grocery shopping with him at Easter...

Another day...another antique mall!

And his new Irish look...

And so my new aspiration for age 60?  
hellraiser.  And I plan to be the best one around! (Thanks to sister Angie for the inspiration).

So I decided to start getting in the groove BEFORE my 60th...

Girls just gotta have fun.

This kiss!

Enjoying St. Patrick's Day with a few hundred close friends.

Storm Troopers.  Protectors of the aged!

Of course there can be the down side to turning 60.  I may be the new poster child for the commercial "Help.  I've fallen and I can't get up."  Last week I got out of the car with my hands full of stuff.  My shoe lodged in a crack between the driveway and sidewalk, and down I went.  Really!  I couldn't make this stuff up.  Mike was still in the car, and he said I just disappeared from view.  

I lay there for awhile trying to assess everything that hurt.  Shoulder, hip, knee and hand were all vying for my attention.  Fortunately I don't have any broken bones, but I do have some nice bruises to commemorate this little spill.  So the moral of the story?  Take your time and make multiple trips between the car and the house. Don't be a Diane!  OK, maybe I should take this hellraiser thing slowly!!!

Etched copper that will be forged into a cuff bracelet.

And in addition to contemplating turning 60, I've been keeping busy with jewelry class.  I am taking classes two days a week, and it's a blast. Oops, maybe that's not the right choice of words given that we are working with torches...  

Here is what I'm working on:

Hollow silver ring with flower petals.

Mike, Diane, Angie & Eric at Bru Burger on Mass Ave.

And there's been some great family time this past week.  My sister Angie and her family stayed with us a couple of days while they made several college visits.  We enjoyed hanging out with them and taking in the city...

Nephews Dane and Adam grooving with the Dancing Lady 

Dane biked 8 miles with me like it was nothing.  Holy cow!

As usual, I'll end with the sights and sounds around me.  Make no mistake.  It's definitely an interesting life!
Layers of clouds.

Foreboding sunset.

Red trail.

Pretty in pink.

Farmer with a sense of humor.

 And don't worry.  I'm being VERY CAREFUL as 60 races at me.  Keep your feet out of cracks I say!

Take care and have a great week!